Comments on: Christmas shopping for the kids just got a lot easier! http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/22/christmas-shopping-for-the-kids-just-got-a-lot-easier/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:04:18 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Dr. Virago http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/22/christmas-shopping-for-the-kids-just-got-a-lot-easier/comment-page-1/#comment-762163 Tue, 28 Dec 2010 16:20:09 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13674#comment-762163 I came back to comment again because I felt a little bad about bashing *all* of ethology, especially since for Christmas I got and eagerly read (and have already finished) Alexandra Horowitz’s _Inside of a Dog_. She’s an ethologist and she’s seems to be pretty sophisticated in thinking about the assumptions underlying a lot of her field. But then she was a *philosophy* major as an undergrad, so she thinks like a humanities *and* a science person. The one thing that made me slap my head, though, was when she claimed “he” was a gender-neutral pronoun, which she would be using unless she was speaking about a specifically female dog. *headdesk* But aside from that one crazy-making moment, I really enjoyed the book.

And now I want to be an ethologist again. Or maybe not. Horowitz is currently a term assistant professor and in psychology, not animal science, so sounds like the job market for ethologists is just as messed up as any other. Then again, she wrote a NYT best selling books, so she’s doing OK. (Note to self: start finding research projects that you can turn into best-selling general audience books!)

Anyway, if you want to read smart general-audience work on animal behavior and/or if you’re a dog lover, I recommend the book.

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By: Dr. Koshary http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/22/christmas-shopping-for-the-kids-just-got-a-lot-easier/comment-page-1/#comment-759529 Fri, 24 Dec 2010 19:16:25 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13674#comment-759529 Quoth CPP:
“Because so far, this shitte has *always* turned out to be a complete load of steaming motherfucke.”

And quoth Grad Student:
“Most of us find their type of ‘science’ to be highly questionable, biased, and full of cultural assumptions. There is a lot of good that can come from evolutionary biology, but evopsych is pretty much nonsense.”

I think I can safely cede most of my comment space to these two good gentlepeople. I will observe, however, that one can get the bizarre impression that ev psychs are actually respected scientists, if one makes the error of speaking to one of them about it. The punishing stream of blatherskite that will result from such an interaction should serve the querent as a deterrent.

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By: Ch4rlie http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/22/christmas-shopping-for-the-kids-just-got-a-lot-easier/comment-page-1/#comment-759304 Fri, 24 Dec 2010 12:45:27 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13674#comment-759304 Grad Student: that’s what I hoped, but it’s a huge relief to hear. It’s depressing how a few charlatans lurking on the fringes of other field have such a huge media megaphone. I’m definitely going to read Elizabeth and Nikki’s suggested readings (thanks, BTW).

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By: Grad Student http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/22/christmas-shopping-for-the-kids-just-got-a-lot-easier/comment-page-1/#comment-759090 Fri, 24 Dec 2010 02:51:59 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13674#comment-759090 Ch4rlie–I can say that I know of exactly zero evolutionary psychologists who are well-respected in the field. Most of us find their type of “science” to be highly questionable, biased, and full of cultural assumptions. There is a lot of good that can come from evolutionary biology, but evopsych is pretty much nonsense.

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By: Nikki http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/22/christmas-shopping-for-the-kids-just-got-a-lot-easier/comment-page-1/#comment-758784 Thu, 23 Dec 2010 15:23:56 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13674#comment-758784 Also reminds me of a great essay: Londa Schiebinger, “The Gendered Ape,” in The Graph of Sex and the German Text (Rodopi, 1994) It seems little changes.

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By: Elizabeth http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/22/christmas-shopping-for-the-kids-just-got-a-lot-easier/comment-page-1/#comment-758733 Thu, 23 Dec 2010 13:08:36 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13674#comment-758733 Rebecca Jordan-Young’s new book, analyzing the narratives that drive the science concerning sex differences, is a welcome addition to this debate:

http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674057302

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By: Roxie http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/22/christmas-shopping-for-the-kids-just-got-a-lot-easier/comment-page-1/#comment-758719 Thu, 23 Dec 2010 12:39:15 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13674#comment-758719 Are girls allowed to want puppies for Christmas, or is that a guy thing? Or, wait, are post-menopausal girls considered guys and therefore allowed to want puppies for Christmas. Help me out here, folks. Santa really needs to know what to bring to Roxie’s World for Christmas!

Happy holidays to all y’all over here in mondo d’Historiann. Here’s to peace, happiness, and a totally gay military in the coming year!

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/22/christmas-shopping-for-the-kids-just-got-a-lot-easier/comment-page-1/#comment-758527 Thu, 23 Dec 2010 04:23:11 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13674#comment-758527 Neither author apparently has daughters who have cut Barbie’s hair, popped off her head, and buried her in the back garden.

Or DID this as little girls! (Or, not so little girls. I’ll have to post a photo of Creepy Doll Head garden in hibernation soon.)

There’s a lot of aggression in modern American girls’ doll play, that’s for sure.

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By: Digger http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/22/christmas-shopping-for-the-kids-just-got-a-lot-easier/comment-page-1/#comment-758430 Thu, 23 Dec 2010 01:06:35 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13674#comment-758430 I totally remember the Log! And miss Ren and Stimpy.

I clicked through to the article’s abstract online (unfortunately I can’t access the whole article). The abstract is a little… problematic. It’s seriously clear to me that neither author has a firm grip on the concept of culture or on conducting cross-cultural comparisons (which arguably this is).

There are tons of arrrrgh moments just in the abstract, but my main beefs are:

1. Dolls, wheeled toys, and pretend weaponry are not sticks. And vice versa.

2. Monkeys are not apes are not children.

3. Monkeys understand human cultural constructs of female/male and what symbolic objects are associated with them? Really? For ALL human cultures? Pretty awesome.

4. Sex and gender are so very not the same thing.

5. Monkeys and apes have had millions of years of evolution, just like us. They’re not time capsules. Discuss.

6. How exactly does one carry a stick “in a manner suggestive of rudimentary doll play”?

7. Neither author apparently has daughters who have cut Barbie’s hair, popped off her head, and buried her in the back garden.

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By: Comrade PhysioProf http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/22/christmas-shopping-for-the-kids-just-got-a-lot-easier/comment-page-1/#comment-758420 Thu, 23 Dec 2010 00:48:27 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13674#comment-758420 Yes, I remember “Log”! Ren & Stimpy was a favorite during grad school. “Stimpy! You EEEEEEDIOT!!!11!1111!!11!!”

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